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by Tedra DeSueVoters in the Southeast treated about $6.2 billion of bond requests to, some old-fashioned southern hospitality Tuesday, approving 98.8% of the, borrowing requests, according to data collected by The Bond Buyer., Miami-Dade County voters approved the region's single largest, authorization, signing off on $2.9 billion of general obligation debt with, support from 57.5% of the voters, according to unofficial tallies., More than $1.1 billion of GO requests were easily approved in Virginia., Voters in New Orleans approved a $260 million bond request for street improvements., Miami-Dade County will use the GO bond proceeds for various purposes, including water and sewer systems, housing, and healthcare., Miami-Dade County elections office had to seek emergency approval from, the governor to buy four new scanners to finish counting 60, 000 absentee, ballots yesterday, but the outcome was not expected to change bond, referendum, results, a county spokeswoman said., Republican Carlos Alvarez was elected mayor in Miami over county, commissioner Jimmy Morales., 1% of the vote, Republican attorney Mel Martinez was believed to have, bested Democrat Betty Castor for Florida's U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Democrat Bob Graham. Martinez says he wants to help Florida's hurricane victims by seeking a tax-exempt, bond program in New York City. A state election's canvassing board decides today if there will be a recount in the senate race., Florida voters also repealed an amendment they approved four years ago, that required the state to build an expensive high-speed rail line. The first phase of was estimated to cost $2.7 billion, with the financing including state-issued tax-exempt revenue bonds., Voters in Fairfax, approved $86.8 million of GOs for school, renovations by a yes vote of nearly 81%, while Fairfax County voters, approved, $325 million of GO debt for parks, libraries, human services facilities, transportation-related projects in four separate questions by a margin of, 2-to-1 or better. The $325 million includes $110 million for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to help cover the cost of improving the region's aging bus and rail systems., In Chesterfield County, voters approved about $342 million of GOs by, more than a 3-to-1 ratio. Debt will be issued for schools and public safety facilities. In Arlington County, voters approved nearly $208 million of GO bonds by a margin of 3-to-1 or better for parks, transportation, public facilities, and schools. Of the $208 million, $18.5 million is for WMATA., The Horry County, S.C., School District was successful in getting voters, to approve $243 million of bond requests. Proceeds will cover a host of school building needs., Voters in New Orleans gave Mayor Ray Nagin one of his biggest, accomplishments of his term by approving a $260 million bond request for, much-needed street improvements. He was elected mayor in 2002. The measure passed by a margin of 2-to-1., Louisiana Treasurer John Kennedy, a Democrat, was unsuccessful in his bid, for a U.S. Senate seat. Republican David Vitter won with enough votes to avoid a runoff., In Georgia, rapidly growing Fayette County, which is south of Atlanta, will be able to sell $65 million of school GOs after 68% of voters approved, its request., West Virginia voters approved the state's only bond-related ballot, measure, an $8 million proposal to allow the state to sell bonds and direct, the proceeds to pay bonuses to veterans of Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq., The ballot measure amends the state constitution so that the Legislature can determine details of the sale when it reconvenes this winter., They also elected Secretary of State Joe Manchin 3d to be governor over, Republican Monty Warner to take Gov. Bob Wise's place next year after he declared he would not run again., Voters in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and Charlotte, its county seat, overwhelming approved bond measures for roads and other public improvement, projects. Almost three-fourths of the Charlotte voters approved the sale of $101 million of GOs for roads. In Mecklenburg, voters approved $69 million of bond requests for parks and green space projects., Statewide, North Carolina voters approved an amendment that will allow, municipalities to set up districts similar to tax increment finance or tax, allocation districts and sell what the state will call self-financing, bonds., North Carolina was one of only two states in the country that did not have laws providing for such districts., North Carolina voters also reelected Democratic Gov. Mike Easley. He beat out Republican challenger Patrick Ballantine. State Treasurer Richard Moore, also a Democrat, was also reelected for a second term, beating Republican Edward Meyer., In Alabama, 56% of voters in a statewide referendum gave 20 counties the, authority to sell general obligation bonds to provide economic development, incentives to attract new industry., Mobile County, Ala., voters approved a plan to build public facilities, with $65 million of general obligation bonds., In Mississippi, 53% of voters in Hattiesburg defeated a $12 million bond, issue secured by a tax on hotels, foods, and beverages. The bond proceeds would have enabled the University of Southern Mississippi to upgrade athletic facilities and renovate the USM auditorium., Emily Newman, Humberto Sanchez, Shelly Sigo, and Matthew Vadum contributed, to this story.
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by Yvette ShieldsIn addition to the presidential contest and major bond referendums, voters, throughout the country also cast decisions Tuesday on measures that ranged, from attempts to rein in public subsidies for stadiums and halt the, Seattle Monorail Project to tax measures and rules on how rainy day funds, are spent., Out West, bond disclosure and pension problems in San Diego may have, caused a stunning upset in the mayor's race., Write-in candidate Donna Frye was ahead of incumbent Dick Murphy and, challenger Ron Roberts yesterday morning, though absentee ballots remained, uncounted and the large number of write-in votes was expected to, complicate the counting process., The city disclosed earlier this year that it had failed to explain the, full extent of the underfunding of its employee pension system to, investors, leading to an as-yet unfinished Securities and Exchange, Commission investigation., The pension mess was one of the factors Frye cited in launching her, last-minute write-in effort., San Diego voters also approved two city charter changes designed to, improve governance of the pension plan., In Seattle, voters rebuffed an initiative that would have effectively, killed the Seattle Monorail Project by barring the elevated railroad from, Seattle's streets., It was the fourth time since 1997 that voters gave the go-ahead to the, $1.5 billion plan. Nearly $700 million of debt is expected to be sold pending the finalization of a contract between monorail officials and the project's lone construction bidder., Washington state voters rejected a penny-on-the dollar sales tax increase, to fund education., Statewide, voters in California heeded the request of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, however, still faces a court challenge., Voters also approved an income-tax hike on millionaires to fund mental, health programs., In 10 California counties, voters were asked to extend or create local, sales taxes to finance transportation projects., The taxes, which can back revenue bonds, achieved the required two-thirds, majority in five counties, were defeated in three counties, and two others, were too close to call yesterday morning., Voters in Multnomah County, Oregon's largest, voted to continue a local, income tax to fund education., In the Midwest, St. Louis County, voters overwhelmingly endorsed Proposition A, which bans public subsidies for professional sports stadiums without a voter referendum. County voters favored the measure in a final vote of 346, 000 to nearly 136, according to election officials., The measure was a direct attack on the county's decision to provide $45, million of bonding assistance towards a new ballpark for Major League, Supporters believe that because the county board must approve the, appropriation to pay debt service annually, the county will have to seek, voter support annually., We believe the board will have to ask voters to pay debt service next, said Fred Lindecke, head of, the Coalition Against Public Funding for Stadiums., County officials stand by their position that the charter change approved, We believe this won't impact a financing already in place, Moody's Investors Service analysts last month cast aside the county's, contention that the referendum would not impact bond repayment, and said, the outcome of the litigation is unpredictable and uncertain. Hotel taxes repay the bonds., Statewide, Missouri voters endorsed by an 80% to 20% margin a, constitutional amendment that requires a portion of the state's 4.225%, motor vehicle sales tax be diverted from the general fund and used solely, for road projects. The measure also would require that other transportation-related taxes and fees not flow to other state agencies. The change will be implemented over the next four years., Supporters believed the change would raise another $187 million annually, that could be leveraged to support $1.4 billion of debt for road projects., Critics argued that the state will compensate for the lost general fund revenue by raising other taxes or making steep spending cuts., Voters in Indiana approved a constitutional amendment that will expand the, legislature's authority to shift the way the state collects taxes. About 80% of the voters approved the amendment, which solidified changes that the state legislature approved when it restructured taxes in 2002 under late Gov. Frank O'Bannon's administration., The amendment gives the legislature power to exempt certain classes of, effort to the 2002 change that eliminated the inventory tax starting in *2007-, according to Michael Claytor, a financial adviser with Crowe Chizek who worked with the state on reassessment and tax reform., Other budget considerations drove many other statewide ballot initiatives, including a call in South Dakota to repeal the sales tax on food. Voters there defeated the proposal with about 70% of the vote, according to local news reports., In other states, gambling was proposed as a means to generate revenue. In Nebraska, voters largely rejected that call. With several items on gaming, voters there rejected a proposal for two casinos in Omaha and another to allow slot and video poker machines across the state, according to local reports., In Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said yesterday that a proposal approved that requires a local and statewide vote for any new gaming could mean further cuts in the state budget., Granholm argued that the measure, which applies to state lottery game, expansion as well, could affect the revenue the state uses for education., If the state cannot expand the lottery and fails to bring in sufficient revenue for education, the budget may have to be pared down even more, Granholm's press secretary Liz Boyd said., Detroit casino operators supported the measure to ward off competitors, including gaming at racetracks that the legislature is considering. A more contentious Detroit issue, whether or not to end a school reform system, could affect the process for issuing bonds to improve the system's schools. Voters rejected a system in which Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick would appoint a chief operating officer for the schools. Instead, voters chose to return to an elected school board that would hire a superintendent to manage the schools., In the Southwest, Arkansas voters killed by a two-to-one margin a proposed, state amendment that would have increased the mandatory school operations, mill levy to 28 mills from 25 mills., The proposal to increase property tax levies for school district, operations was made by the General Assembly during a special session that, The property tax hike would have generated about $73 million more a year, for Arkansas schools. The state spends about $2.2 billion a year on public school operations., In Houston, two competing amendments to the city charter each won approval, from voters. Proposition 1, posed by Mayor Bill White and the Houston City Council, will place a revenue cap of either 4.5% or the cost of inflation and population on all property tax and water and sewer increases. The measure passed with 63% of the vote., Proposition 2, proposed by a group called Citizens for Public, Accountability, would limit annual budgets for the city and its, enterprises - including the convention center and the city's airport, system - based on the amount of the previous year's revenues. That plan won with 56% of the vote., White said that because Proposition 1 garnered more votes, it would be, enacted instead of the second amendment. However, proponents of the measure say they will sue if both laws are not implemented., A third amendment, Proposition 3, won 85% of the vote. That law gives city controllers the authority to audit all city functions, including departments and programs., Colorado voters approved by a 61% margin a plan to quadruple the state's, Some analysts say that tobacco taxation could be one of the major threats, to the MSA, which backs nearly $20 billion of outstanding tobacco revenue, In a repeat of last year's election, 59% of voters in Bernalillo County in, New Mexico rejected a merger of the county and Albuquerque. Under state law, a third merger vote can't be held until 2006., Oklahoma voters approved a number of state questions, including one that, tightens the restrictions on how the governor and legislature can use a, fund set aside for emergency needs., Currently, 50% of the state's Rainy Day Fund can be appropriated by the, Legislature for projects if the governor issues a proclamation that an, emergency exists and the Legislature agrees. The other half was earmarked for budget stabilization, to make up deficits when revenue collections fall short of estimates., Voters approved State Question 708 with 63% of the vote. The law limits spending for projects to 25% of the discretionary fund, reserving the rest for budgetary crises. The fund currently contains $217.7 million., Voters narrowly favored State Question 707, which allows towns, cities and, counties in Oklahoma to expand the use of tax increment financing as an, economic development tool., In Florida, voters weighed in on statewide referendums about a train, system, the minimum wage, and limiting lawyer's fees., More than 64% of voters in the Sunshine state voted to repeal the, constitutional amendment that they passed four years ago requiring the, construction of a high-speed train system., Well over $10 million in state and federal funds were spent the last four, years planning to implement the train project, the first phase of which, was estimated to cost $2.7 billion with financing from state-issued, tax-exempt revenue bonds, private funding and grants., Approximately 71% of voters throughout Florida agreed to increase the, 000 in damages, and to 10% thereafter., In wealthy Palm Beach County along Florida's east coast, 58% of voters, approved a half-cent sales tax hike to raise $560 million through 2010., Tax proceeds will go toward a $1 billion spending plan by the county's school district., In Georgia, voters in Fayette County, located to the south of Atlanta, approved a one-cent special purpose local option sales tax., In Alabama, 56% of voters in a statewide referendum gave 20 counties and, the cities within those counties increased economic incentives to attract, new industry. Those counties and cities, after local voter referendums, would be authorized to sell general obligation bonds to buy, improve, and develop properties as economic development incentives to attract new industry., In Mississippi, voters in Jackson and Harrison counties approved, increasing hotel and restaurant taxes for convention center projects by an, unofficial 66% and 61%, respectively. Jackson's new convention center project, estimated to cost $61 million, will be financed with bonds as will Harrison's $68 million expansion of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi., To the east, voters in Virginia localities approved several referendum, questions that were not related to prospective bond issuance but which, could have an impact on their future revenues., Voters in Hanover, New Kent, and Patrick counties easily approved new, local levies on prepared food and restaurant meals, according to, Voters in Greene, Henry, Scott, and Westmoreland counties approved ballot, questions that will authorize off-track gambling in their communities, voters in the city of Manassas Park turned down the proposal., In the Northeast, Maine voters dealt a decisive blow to a tax cap proposal, seeking to limit statewide property tax to 1% of assessed value plus any, levy on outstanding debt. The vote was 63% against and 37% for, according to early reports in the local press., Some municipalities had anticipated a two-thirds drop in revenue if the, proposal passed, and had considered taxing highway plowing and other, services to make up the difference. While voters were equally divided on the issue a few months before the election, active opposition by Gov. John Baldacci, a Democrat, helped sway voters against the proposal, observers said., we can put this issue behind us and see what happens in the, said Peter DeWitt, a spokesman for, Portland, Maine's largest city., Elizabeth Albanese, Elizabeth Carvlin, Tedra DeSue, Jasmina Kelemen, Elizabeth O'Brien, Rich Saskal, Shelly Sigo, Jim Watts, and Matthew Vadum, contributed to this story.
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by Gillian D'AmbrosioIn one of the nation's most bruising and closely watched campaigns, Democrat John Street easily held off Republican challenger Sam Katz Tuesday, to win his second term as the mayor of Philadelphia, despite an ongoing, federal probe into city government., The investigation -- news of which surfaced last month after a, listening device was found in Street's office and federal agents swept into, city offices in search of financial documents -- instead seemed to, galvanize support for Street, who had narrowly defeated Katz, a former head, of Public Financial Management, in the mayoral race four years ago., Street, speaking to reporters in Philadelphia yesterday, said he did, not think the investigation would in any way hamper his ability to govern, according to Barbara Grant, a spokeswoman for the mayor., Janice Davis, director of finance for Philadelphia, said Street's, reelection allows the city to move forward with its government, restructuring initiatives., The type of fiscal management the mayor was involved in as council, Davis said. Rendell, a Democrat, is now governor of Pennsylvania., In Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, Democratic county, Controller Dan Onorato defeated Republican incumbent Jim Roddey in the race, for county executive, arguably the third most powerful elected official in, the state after the governor and the mayor of Philadelphia., A conservative Democrat, Onorato promised to cut taxes 10% and trim, government spending. The proposed tax cut would deprive the county of $24 million in revenue, In office, Onorato will face such stiff challenges as persuading US, Airways to keep its Pittsburgh hub and addressing rising labor and medical, costs while campaigning for tax cuts. He must also navigate Pittsburgh's fiscal crisis, uniting the region's state legislative delegation behind a bailout package. The city is facing a $60 million budget gap and its bond ratings have fallen to junk status., New Jersey voters dealt defeat to the Senate co-president, John, Bennett, a Republican whose 24-year career in Trenton ended with Democrat, Ellen Karcher's victory. Karcher, who doggedly questioned her opponent's ethics, helped her party capture control of the Senate, which had been evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Democrats now control both legislative houses, with fellow Democrat James E. McGreevey as governor., Ingrid Reed, director of the New Jersey Project at the Eagleton, Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, yesterday said this is the, first time since World War II that a New Jersey governor's party has not, lost legislative seats in a mid-term election., In New York, Democrat Steve Levy was elected Suffolk County executive, ending 12 years of Republican control of that office in the eastern Long, Island county. In neighboring Nassau County, Democrats maintained their one-seat legislative majority over Republicans in what was effectively a victory for Democratic County Executive Thomas Suozzi., In two other county executive races in the state, Republicans held onto, the seat in Monroe County, where county clerk Maggie Brooks prevailed over, Rochester Mayor William Johnson, a Democrat, and Republican Joel A. Giambra was reelected Erie County executive over Democrat Dan Ward. In Buffalo, where a state fiscal control board has taken over the city's finances, Andrew SanFilippo, who lost the Democratic primary and then ran as a Republican, was elected city comptroller., SOUTHEAST, Voters in the Southeast also cast their ballots in several widely, watched races considered by some bellwethers for next year's presidential, election. In Mississippi, Haley Barbour -- former Republican National Committee chairman and friend of President Bush -- had 53% of the gubernatorial vote by mid-day yesterday, giving him a victory over one-term Democratic incumbent Ronnie Musgrove. Barbour, will become only the second Republican governor of the state since Reconstruction., The state, which still has precincts and counties that vote by paper, ballot, expects that election returns statewide will not be certified for, several days, a state election official said., Barbour's election, and the election of Republican congressman Ernie, Fletcher to the governor's seat in Kentucky, now gives the GOP the, governor's office in 29 states. Fletcher topped state Attorney General Ben Chandler, a Democrat, for the race to replace outgoing Democrat Gov. Paul Patton, whose final years in office were clouded by personal scandal after he first denied and then admitted an affair last year., Some election observers believe that Tuesday's results in Kentucky and, Mississippi signal support for President Bush's re-election bid next year., Voters in Mississippi also sent Republican Lieut. Gov. Amy Tuck back to her office on Tuesday for a second term. Tuck, who is only the second woman to hold the seat, had 61% of the votes, with 96% of the precincts reporting by mid-day yesterday., Republican Tate Reeves, a banker seeking his first elected office, received 52% of the vote, with 95% of the precincts reporting late, yesterday to become Mississippi's treasurer. He defeated Democrat Gary Anderson, the state's former fiscal officer., Reeves will replace Democrat Marshall Bennett, who held the treasurer's, post for 15 years and decided not to seek re-election in order to join a, law firm in New York., In Fulton County, Republican Karen Handel beat out four other, candidates vying to replace Mike Kenn as chairman of the Fulton County, Commission., FAR WEST, On the West Coast, the next mayor of San Francisco will not be known, until after a runoff election, because none of the nine candidates vying, for the job won more than 50% of the vote. The field of contenders has narrowed to two supervisors -- Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, and Matt Gonzalez, a Green Party candidate, who will face off Dec. 9., Term limits curbed incumbent Mayor Willie Brown from seeking another, term. He has spent 40 years in politics, including serving as the speaker of the state Assembly., Elsewhere in the region, Spokane will now have veteran lawmaker Jim, West as mayor. West, who spent 21 years as a lawmaker and was former GOP majority leader in the state Senate, defeated journalist Tom Grant. The vote split 53% to 47% for West in the nonpartisan race., SOUTHWEST, Meanwhile, in Texas, Houston mayoral candidates Bill White and Orlando, Sanchez will face off in a runoff on Dec. 6. White captured 38% of the vote and Sanchez won 33%. Under Houston law, a candidate must garner 50% plus one of the vote in order to avoid a runoff., State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, garnered only 29% of the vote. Six other candidates received few votes., Sanchez, a Republican former city councilman, lost a runoff bid in the, last election to outgoing Mayor Lee Brown. This is the first election bid for White, a businessman who once served as Texas Democratic party chairman., Houston City Council members Annise Parker and Bruce Tatro will also, compete for office in the December runoff. The two are vying for the city controller's job, the second-ranking seat in Houston's government. Parker led after Tuesday's election with 42% of the vote, while Tatro trailed with just 21%. Current Controller Judy Gray Johnson is not seeking election to the post. A former deputy in the office, she was appointed by the City Council to serve out Sylvia Garcia's term after Garcia was elected a Harris County commissioner last year., Controversial Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson won his second term, in that city's highest office with 56% of the vote, compared to challenger, Frank Pignanelli's 46%., Anderson, a fervent environmental activist, was a major force in a, lawsuit against the state Department of Transportation that resulted in a, mandatory work stoppage on the $300 million Legacy Parkway., Reporters Martin Braun, Elizabeth Albanese, Shelly Sigo, Michael, McDonald, Rochelle Williams, Rich Saskal, and Tedra DeSue contributed to, this story .
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by Shelly Sigo, Tedra DeSue, and Matthew VadumWhile gubernatorial elections in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi are, dominating the political scene in the Southeast this fall, major ballot, initiatives on Nov. 4 include a $300 million general obligation bond, referendum, in Guilford County, N.C., and a $290.6 million GO question in Fairfax, County,, Only North Carolina and Virginia counties have major referendum issues, to decide on Nov. 4, while a few small bond requests appear on local, government ballots in Florida, where voters are less inclined to approve, GO requests, and in Georgia., In North Carolina, bond requests range from school needs to, infrastructure projects., Counties issue bonds for schools in North Carolina, and in the past 10, years, many of them have seen student populations explode. Issuing debt to keep up with those needs has been the answer, with historic amounts requested and approved by voters., The largest this year is in Guilford County, whose seat is Greensboro, where voters are being asked to approve a $300 million GO request, largest in the county's history. Proceeds will be used to build and renovate 28 schools., In *2000-, voters approved a $200 million authorization, but almost all, of those funds have been exhausted. If the $300 million request is approved next week, property taxes would be raised to pay the debt service, so backers of the measure are concerned about whether voters will give this measure their blessings., Another sizable ballot item will be voted on in Durham County, which is, seeking approval of $123 million worth of debt requests. The bulk of that -- about $114 million -- will be for public schools and community colleges, with the rest for libraries and museums., Other areas requesting debt for schools include Surry County, where, there is a $59 million bond issue on the ballot, and Davie County, where, voters will decide on an $8.8 million referendum., Chapel Hill is seeking approval of a $29.4 million bond referendum for, streets, parks, and recreation, while the town of Huntersville is asking, voters to approve $20 million of bonds for street and highway projects, among other things., The village of Pinehurst and the town of Spring Lake have referendums, for $16 million and $15.7 million, respectively, for water and sewer, projects., Earlier this month, Wake County voters overwhelmingly approved a $485, million bond request, of which $450 million was for schools., The second-largest bond referendum in the Southeast next week is being, held in one of the nation's most affluent localities, Fairfax County, If approved by voters, the measure would allow the rapidly growing, county to sell $290.6 million in GOs for school construction. Local officials have complained for years that the county needs more space for educational facilities., The proceeds from the sale of the bonds would also be used for school, renovations. The northern Virginia county enjoys triple-A GO ratings from all three major credit agencies, and earlier this year it estimated that the gilt-edged advantage has helped it save about $182.9 million in interest costs since 1978., Two bond questions totaling $41.9 million are on the ballot in nearby, Although Loudoun is also a wealthy county, its bond rating is weaker, than its neighbor's. Standard & Poor's rates the county's full-faith-and-credit debt AA-plus with a stable outlook, and Moody's Investors Service rates the same debt Aa1, with a negative outlook that was attached to the rating a year ago. Fitch Ratings also rates the debt AA-plus but has not assigned an outlook., There is no organized opposition to the three bond proposals, voters in the two neighboring counties are expected to approve all of them., There are no statewide bond-related questions on the Nov. 4 ballot in Virginia., Election day for the Southeast's two largest issuers, Florida and, Georgia, will be relatively quiet. In the Sunshine State, at least four referendums will take place. In ballots mailed to voters, Deerfield Beach will ask for $15.8 million in bonds for park and traffic improvements and public facilities. The mailed-in ballots will be counted on Nov. 4., Boynton Beach, up the east coast from Deerfield, will ask voters at the, polls to approve $11 million in bonds for expansion at the city library, senior center, an art center, and the community pool. On the west coast, Venice will ask voters for $10 million in GOs to renovate the community center, to widen a public beach, to rebuild a pier, and to create a waterfront park., In Brevard County, voters will be asked to approve a one-cent sales tax, increase to finance infrastructure, including new schools, public, buildings, and traffic improvements. The same ballot also asks voters to allow the sales tax to secure bonds for the projects, although the amount of debt to be sold is not on the ballot., In Peachtree City, voters will be asked to approve $4.9 million in, GOs to expand and renovate the library., As for the political elections, experts and polls say the governors', races are too close to call, even though Democrats have a lot to lose in, two of the three regular elections slated for Nov. 4 and Nov. 15., The race for the seat held by Kentucky's term-limited Democratic Gov., Paul Patton will be decided on Nov. 4 between state Attorney General Ben Chandler, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Rep. Ernie Fletcher., In Mississippi, Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove faces former Republican National Committee chairman Haley Barbour on Nov. 4., Next door in Louisiana on a Nov. 15 runoff election, the seat held by, term-limited Republican Gov. Mike Foster is being sought by former Health and Human Services assistant secretary Bobby Jindal, a Republican, and Democratic Lieut. Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
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by Staff reportsIn perhaps the most closely watched of the primaries held Tuesday, Hampshire Sen. Robert C. Smith became the first incumbent U.S. senator to lose the Republican party's nomination in a decade when he was defeated by U.S. Rep. John E. Sununu., Smith, was the ranking Republican on the U.S. Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. His ouster leaves an opening for Sen. John Warner, R-Va., or James Inhofe, R-Okla., to take over as the top Republican on the committee or head it should their party retake control of the Senate in November., In conceding defeat Tuesday evening, Smith paraphrased Charles Dickens, Smith was knocked by many after he left the Republican Party in a failed bid as an independent in the 2000 presidential election, only to return to the party., In other Sept. 10 elections, District of Columbia Mayor Anthony A., Williams managed to retain his spot on the Democratic ticket despite the controversy surrounding his nomination papers, which forced him to conduct a write-in campaign in the primary., Also, while he still leads polls and has the Republican Party, nomination sealed, In Florida, which in an echo of the 2000 elections experienced more, problems at the polls, municipal bond industry whistleblower Michael, Lissack lost in a primary bid to run for a seat on the Collier County, Commission., DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Williams easily secured a spot on the Nov. 5 general election ballot as, the official Democratic candidate, a move that virtually guarantees his, election in the overwhelmingly Democratic city., Williams' victory came despite the district's Board of Elections and, Ethics striking his name off the primary ballot for widespread, irregularities on his nominating petitions and fining him $277, 700 for the, irregularities, the largest election-related fine in the city's history., Official results from the balloting on Tuesday will not be known for, several days because the large number of write-in votes has significantly, slowed the official counting process., With 138 out of 141 precincts reporting and 97.87% of the ballots, counted as of early Wednesday morning, 311 or 91.38% of Democratic Party, votes that had been cast for the position of mayor were write-ins, election board reported., Exit polls conducted by the Washington Post on Tuesday showed Williams, with a commanding 3-to-1 lead over his closest rival, Rev. Willie F. Wilson, a Baptist minister who was also a write-in candidate., FLORIDA, All eyes were once again on the state as the release of Tuesday's, primary election results were hampered by equipment problems and the, outcome of the Democratic gubernatorial election was threatened by legal, challenges., In Miami-Dade County, which sold $119.8 million of special obligation, bonds Tuesday with some of the money earmarked for new voting machines, some polls did not open on time and voters were turned away because of, equipment problems., The same was true in Broward County, which spent $17 million on a new, electronic voting system, as well as a few other counties, Bush said when he ordered the extension., While more ballots needed to be counted, Bill McBride appeared to have, edged out former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno. McBride is a former partner at Holland & Knight, Florida's largest law firm and high-ranking bond counsel., Reno, who said she experienced problems voting in Miami-Dade, threatened to file a lawsuit contesting the election., In Collier County, Lissack, a former Smith Barney Inc. banker-turned, whistleblower, was trounced yesterday in his bid to become the Republican, candidate for a Collier County Commission seat., Despite his loss, Lissack, who received only 17% of the vote, said he, would not be deterred from further involvement in Collier County's, Lissack's allegations of yield-burning abuses led to a massive federal, probe and enforcement action against Smith Barney and other firms in the, 1990s. He helped Collier County officials and their lawyers file a class action yield-burning suit against almost 20 broker-dealers that the firms eventually settled for about $4 million., MARYLAND, Overcoming the governor's support for his opponent, state comptroller, and octogenarian William D. Schaefer overwhelmingly won his party's nomination for re-election in Tuesday's primary., Schaefer defeated Secretary of State John T. Willis, who received support and funding from Gov. Parris Glendening, whose second term as governor ends in January. Glendening is Schaefer's long-time rival in the state Democratic Party., Schaefer, is a former two-term Maryland governor who also served, four terms as Baltimore's mayor. He will face Republican Gene Zarwell, a marketing consultant from Anne Arundel County., Schaefer said he intended to run a strong campaign against Zarwell., We'll run a full-fledged campaign, same as we did, Schaefer is a member of the powerful state Board of Public Works, along, with Glendening, that is responsible for overseeing the state's, expenditures and general obligation bond issues., Meanwhile, Lieut. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a Democrat, and Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. easily won their party's nominations in the governor's race. State Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, a 20-year veteran and chairwoman of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, fell victim to a redistricting process that altered her district in Baltimore. She was defeated by first-term Del. Lisa A. Gladden, who received strong support from the city's top African-American leaders., NEW HAMPSHIRE, Democratic Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, who was unopposed in the primary, will face Republican Sununu in a battle for the U.S. Senate seat in November being vacated by Smith, who lost to Sununu in the Republican primary., Democrats picked two term state senator Mark Fernald Tuesday to run to, replace Shaheen in November while Republicans picked wealthy businessman, Craig Benson. Fernald supports introducing a state income tax while Benson, who spent $9 million to win the Republican nod, the most spent by a gubernatorial primary candidate, has vowed to veto such a measure., While Smith was derided by some for his extremism, and his decision to, run for president in 2000 as an independent candidate, he was a backer of, the use of tax-exempt bonds by private firms to finance transportation, projects., For instance, the controversial two-term senator recently signed on to, a letter urging the Department of Transportation to explore innovative, financing techniques for funding transportation infrastructure., Last year, he introduced a bill that would allow private companies to, use tax-exempt bonds to finance the construction of transportation, infrastructure projects and exempt bonds issued for private mass transit, high-speed rail, and highway projects from the state volume caps on, private-activity bonds., NEW YORK, Former New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who last year mounted an, unsuccessful mayoral campaign, cruised to an easy victory in the Democratic, primary for state comptroller, crushing opponent William Mulrow., Hevesi will face Republican John Faso, the former minority leader in, the New York State Assembly, in November's general election., As expected, McCall easily claimed the Democratic nomination for, governor, following last week's withdrawal of challenger Andrew Cuomo., McCall will now face incumbent Republican Pataki, as well as Independence Party nominee Golisano., Golisano, a billionaire from Rochester who has unsuccessfully run for, governor twice before, edged out Pataki for the Independence party nod, following a contentious and bitter campaign between the two camps., WISCONSIN, Gov. Scott McCallum and Attorney General Jim Doyle will vie for the governor's office in November along with Libertarian Party Ed Thompson, the brother of former Gov. Tommy Thompson., McCallum, a Republican, won his party's primary over two little known, candidates -- real estate agent Bill Lorge and teacher George Pobuda --, with 86% of the vote. Doyle won the Democratic nod with 38% of the vote compared to U.S. Rep. Tom Barrett's 35% and Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk's 27%., The state's fiscal woes and a looming $1.3 billion deficit in the next, budget cycle will likely be a key issue in the general election. Doyle and McCallum both have promised that taxes would not be raised to shore up the budget, but neither has spelled out in full detail how the state would cope with the looming deficit., Both have floated proposals that have been met with controversy. Doyle has called for state job cuts, angering state unions, Lynn Hume, Ryan McKaig, Humberto Sanchez, Yvette Shields, Shelly Sigo, Matthew Vadum, Alison Vekshin contributed to this article.
Published in Bond Buyer (2002)
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